tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 20, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
taken in for more questioning, and then charges being brought, which could obstruct police business. host: how are tabloid journalists viewed in britain, coming from somebody who is a broad sheet reporter? is it "the new york times," "the national enquirer" -- guest: that is a good comparison. tabloid journalists rank as the least trusted people in the country. host: thanks for being with us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] 2011. i hereby appoint the honorable daniel webster to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john boehner, speaker of the house of representatives.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2011, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event will we continue past 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, we've heard the song "this land is your land, this land is my
land, from california to new york islands, this land was made for you and me." the greatest, largest landholders is uncle sam. uncle sam, the great landowner. he owns 27% of all the land in america. this poster here shows the holdings of uncle sam. all of the red in the united states, including alaska, is owned by uncle sam. 50 -- over 50% of the land in the west is owned by uncle sam. now, if we were to transfer all these acres to the east coast, that's about the size of all of the land east of the mississippi is owned by uncle sam. looking at it another way. let's go across the seas to europe. if you take all the land that uncle sam owns and superimpose it on europe, it would include
the united kingdom, spain, france, switzerland, italy, austria, germany and poland. that would be how much land uncle sam would own if he owned that portion of europe. so the great landholder is none other than the federal government. the federal government owns about 27% of all the land in america. 623 million acres. and we are talking about how to increase the revenue for this country. maybe we should do something that was thought of years ago. ronald reagan may not have been the first but he did mention in the 1980's that the federal government ought to sell some of that land to americans to help, get this, pay down the debt. this has even been talked in the white house. the president, president obama discussed this a couple weeks ago of selling just one little 300 portion acre in los angeles that was approximately worth $2
billion. maybe we should sell some of that. so i introduced the american land act that will do this -- it will require that the bureau of land management and the forestry service sell a portion of their -- forestry service sell a portion of their land for the next five years. that will be a total of 6%. now, bear in mind, i want to make this clear. this does not include the national parks. this does not include the phish and wildlife services, the marshes, the coastal plains, the environmental sensitive areas. the federal government will make the decision what is to be sold. right now -- excuse me -- in 2005, the land holdings in the united states, according to o.m.b., was worth $1.1 trillion. so i think if we sold a portion of this land it would raise revenue for the united states. about approximately $200 billion or less. plus, it will do other things. it will put the land in the
hands of americans and they could pay taxes not only to local and state government but when they build a business or make a business they will bring in more federal income tax. it will save the federal government the cost of maintaining ownership and it will raise revenue and pay down the debt. real property in the hands of real americans, what a thought. it will create productivity and let americans own more of america. uncle sam shouldn't prevent americans from having a stake or share in america. the united states owns most of the grand estate of our great country, and it's time to let more americans own it because this land was made for you and me, and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. chu, for five minutes.
ms. chu: in the next two weeks, august 2, we must raise the debt limit or the federal government will go into financial default. if we don't it will be a sdraster for the american economy and real american families will pay the price. that's why for almost 95 years we have kept our promises and paid our bills. congress has voted to avoid economic default nearly 100 times since 1917 because it was the right thing to do. the debt limit was raised 17 times under ronald reagan, four times under bill clinton and seven times under george w. bush. but now republicans are shying away from their duty, spreading misinformation about the serious threat we are facing, saying there will be no impact on the average american and that it will not hurt our economy. but that is not true. let me tell you why. if we default on our bills, the interest on all our loans will
skyrocket, just as your interest rates will go up if you miss a credit card payment. and this means disaster for all american families. the median 30-year home loan will increase by almost $20,000 or 10%. this would hurt an already struggling housing market, pushing home sale prices down and potentially leaving more borrowers underwater. if we default on our bills, the stock market could plunge and americans in their 50's will lose immediately from the typical 401-k. the s&p 500 could lose 6.3% of value in just three short months. these losses would affect millions of americans who would have fewer savings for their retirement, their supposed golden years. if we default on our bills, prices for gas, electronics, clothes and other imported goods could dramatically increase. a u.s. default would create economic chaos, forcing the
value of our dollar to decrease, making many products we use every day more expensive at a time when our household dollars are already stretched thin. we cannot let this happen, but republican leaders in washington are playing political games with our economic security. with two weeks left and the clock ticking, the time for playing childish political games should be over. republicans should come back to the table and work with democrats on a compromise that will avert economic catastrophe. and they should work on a compromise that doesn't hurt the most vulnerable amongst us. seniors earn an average of $19,000 a year. contrast that to millionaires who because of the bush-era votes are getting almost $140,000 in tax breaks from the government every year. there is no reason that our seniors and the neediest amongst us should struggle to pay their hospital and electric
bills just so we can subsidize a millionaire's yacht. yet, republicans want to gut the programs that benefit seniors the most, social security, medicaid and medicare, in exchange for their votes on the debt limit. they actually want to hold your senior years hostage just so they can make a political statement on the debt limit. we cannot balance the budget on the backs of seniors. for those who believe that the potential for default is not real, let me quote a famous president who said 25 years ago, quote, congress consistently brings the government on the edge of default before facing its responsibility. this brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on social security and veterans' benefits. interest rates would skyrocket, instability would incur in financial markets and the federal defendant would soar.
unquote. that president was ronald reagan making his plea to congress. and today the american people are calling again on this body to do what's right. i know that if we can move past all the political posturing we can reich a bipartisan agreement that protects social security, medicaid and medicare. that reduces the debt and that saves our economy from the disaster of default. and we must do it now. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson, for five minutes. mr. wilson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it was an honor to be here earlier with congressman ted poe from texas explaining about the federal lands and how they could be developed to create jobs and opportunity. it's particularly fitting that the speaker protemperature at this moment is daniel webster, congressman from florida, because over his head is inscribed a statement, a very
wise statement from the previous daniel webster, the statesman of our country, and in the inscription over the head of our speaker pro tempore at this moment it says, let us develop the resources of our land. and so we know that the original daniel webster was correct and we know that judge ted poe is correct and our speaker pro tempore is correct. mr. speaker, last night the house passed the cut, cap and balance act of 2011. as the co-sponsor of this legislation, i am grateful to have my colleagues support this measure with bipartisan votes by republicans and five democrats. it cuts spending by $111 billion in twelve. it enacts statutes that will enforce spending caps on the federal government for the next 10 years to promote jobs. final low, it requires passage of a balanced budget amendment. this positive legislation goes beyond politics and puts forth
measures that addresses the needs our nation faces. these policies forces washington what families and small businesses must do every day, balance the budget. rather than devise a plan of their own, liberals in congress simply want to raise taxes. these taxes will harm more families and kill more jobs. as the president said in 2009, quote, you don't raise taxes in a recession, end of quote. and, of course, today, we have nearly 15 million unemployed persons in our country. unemployment under the failed policies of our president have increased to 9.2%. we need to change course. cut, cap and balance is a plan i encourage the senate to pass in order to put our country back on the path to prosperity creating jobs. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from connecticut, mr. larson, for five minutes. mr. larson: thank you, mr. speaker. i request the opportunity to extend and revise my remarks. i want to start, first of all, about talking about the tenor of debate in this chamber. historically we've had great debates in this chamber. i think the speaker, john boehner, is an honorable man who cares deeply about this institution. i think on both sides of the aisle we have very intelligent people who care passionately about their beliefs. we have a nation that's in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. it prevails on us as americans to come together and face the problems that our nation is
currently dealing with. you heard representative chu mention it earlier, ronald reagan did so at that time with a democratic speaker, tip o'neill. he did so by appealing to both chambers about the need to come together, facing the daunting reality of defaulting for the first time on the country's full faith in credit. and the impact that that would have on the global economy, on the nation's economy, but i dare is a more importantly, on one's household economy. and from my perspective as a member here and going back home and listening to our constituents, i think that's the most important thing is their household economies that
are hanging in the balance here . washington can oftentimes provide great theater and great back and forth, but we do not want this to become the feeder of the absurd as our constituents look on in the pain and agony of being out of work and wondering whether or not their government is going to be there for them. . i hope we are able to pass a clean debt ceiling as ronald reagan did 17 times. the same kind of thing that was afforded bill clinton and george w. bush, seven times most recently. so that we can get on with the concerns that we care deeply about. and whether it's dealing with the national debt and dealing with the issues of spending and making cuts that will
strategically grow the economy, or whether it's dealing with investing in the american people and making sure that revenue that is come in do so to put america back to work, like the creation of a infrastructure bank funded by the private and public infrastructure working torget to create those much needed jobs, but essentially putting america back to work. i recently received a letter from one of my constituents and i think this sums up the feeling of america. i want to read her words because they tell the story of all too many americans. i'm worried, afraid for myself and all in my situation. and saddened. if i still have not been hired to work in the next few weeks, i will lose the financial ability to live in a room or an
apartment and will lose the parts of my life that literally had to be placed in storage. most notably my family photos, my deceased parents, of my children due to the lack of income or savings to pay the rental fees. i have no one who will take me in or who can afford to do this. she went on to say, how can you not agree that this is comparable to a natural disaster when individual lives are at stake and left as if to be swallowed by an abyss of dark uncertainty? these are the people of our country who we are sworn to serve.
this debate is important on the floor, the debt ceiling could be lifted tomorrow, but the pain and agony of the american people are stated more eloquently by the people who are actually suffering. and when she says to be swallowed up by an abyss of dark uncertainty, that is a moral obligation for us. and rather than talking about staying here over the weekend to make sure we deal with the debt ceiling and all the machinations going on between the new chambers, let's stay here until we put america back to work. that's what we should be doing. out innovating, out building, and out educating the rest of the world. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. boustany, for five minutes. mr. boustany: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. boustany: mr. speaker, yesterday we had a very vigorous debate about the unsustainable debt that our country is facing
and we passed a bill to cut, cap, and balance bill. and that bill was really the only one that's been on the table, house or senate so far. so we ask, in the senate, where's their proposal? where's the white house? give us a proposal that the congressional budget office can actually give us a score on and how we are going to do this. we need legislative language to move forward on these things. we can't just base things on speeches as has been said yesterday. mr. speaker, i believe this country is at a very pivotal point in its history. there's no question about it. we are at a pivotal point. we can decide is the united states going to lead in the 21st century as it did in the 20th century and 19th century, or will we be swallowed in a sea of red ink, high unemployment, and very sluggish growth? that is the basic fundamental problem we are faced with today. and it's within our power and congress to make policy decision that is will change this
equation for the good or the bad for the american people. we have decisions to make and it's time. tough decisions. it's time to make those decisions. now, yesterday we debated the unsustainable debt problem that this country's facing. a situation that is going to swallow up savings for every single american. currently $26,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country, and it's rising. that doesn't count the unfunded liabilities. so the debt is clearly a problem. and we have to set the country on a sustainable path with a credible plan to move us forward. but there's another side to the problem that's not being talked about enough. and it's the fact that we are not growing this economy. we are not growing private sector jobs. and the previous speaker from connecticut, my friend from connecticut talked about the plight of so many who are without jobs. we have to grow this economy if
we are going to create jobs. and that means having a well thought out energy strategy for the united states. it means fundamental tax reform to put us on a very competitive footing whether it's a small business or large u.s. company. and it also means a very aggressive trade strategy for the united states. now, i want to talk about trade for a minute because it really does not get enough discussion here in this body. i got some very encouraging news just last week from the world trade center of new orleans in my home state. it release the some quarterly trade figures. in the first quarter, fiscal year 2011, exports from louisiana manufacturers and farmers grew by almost 50% compared to the previous period last year. this is incredible news because louisiana is rapidly transforming its economy into a global trading economy that helps our farmers,
manufacturers. we sell to the world, we create private sector jobs that pay better than the advantage jobs around the united states. one out of five jobs in louisiana is related to international trade where we export. this is critical. if we are going to grow this country and grow private sector jobs, we need a trade strategy in place to do this, to open markets overseas for our farmers, our manufacturers, our small businesses. we are seeing rapid growth in asia, south america right now all based on trade. hundreds of trade agreements have been basically voted upon in these countries and implemented. regional trade agreements. here in the united states it's been four years. and no activity. we have three pending agreements right now. panama, colombia, south korea. three agreements. these will basically open markets in contrace that are already having pretty much unfettered access into our
market. these will create by the president's own estimate 250,000 jobs in this country. those are direct jobs in the short term. that doesn't even speak to the number of jobs that will be created going forward. it is critically important that we move forward on this. $13 billion in exports from these three agreements alone. exports, these are american companies, american farmers selling their goods overseas. this will stimulate growth in this economy and job creation. this is why we need to move forward on it. but there are other important aspects to this. these three agreements were negotiated in good faith. so just like the full faith and credit of the united states is on the line with regard to dealing with our debt problem, our credibility internationally is on the line as to whether we are going to be a leader in this world or we are just going to sit back and shrink and see high unemployment and sluggish job growth and a lost opportunity for our children and grandchildren.
that's what's at stake with this. these three trade agreements need to be done now. the president could easily send these to congress and we can vote on them. that's what we need to do. that's a step forward to restore american competitiveness, to restore american credibility, and to restore american confidence. come on, mr. president, lead. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from new york is recognized, mr. rangel, for five minutes. mr. rangel: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: a previous speaker referred to our distinguished speaker pro tempore with that historic name and was suggesting that we look for something to guide us that would be over the
podium. what i see is in god we trust. not the congress. not the house. not democrats, and certainly not republicans. but in god we trust. recently i took this to be a very serious thing and i was saying that in the process of increasing the debt ceiling and cutting back spending, that a lot of people were vulnerable and i called upon our spiritual leaders not to forget them. and indeed whether we are talking about social security or medicare or medicaid, that all of these things were going to be on the block subject to be cut. the president said i was calling
upon jesus to help democrats. well, that's not so. i was calling upon religious leaders whether they were christian or protestant or jews or gentiles, more mon -- more mom -- mormon or muslim to say in god we trust. and there comes a time when human, regardless of their party registration need some help in deciding the crucial issues that actually, actually affect the lives of people. and whether we talk about peace or war, thousands of people being killed, and no one can deny this is a spirit youual or moral issue if we were asked whether we support it or not, but yet we find that most members of congress cannot even give a reason why we are in iraq and libya and afghanistan. but having said that, let's face
it, it would be ridiculous to assume that i'm making an appeal for democrats when what i'm talking about is those people who are vulnerable. because of our financial center cause people to lose their homes, it wasn't just democrats, there were democrats, republicans, independents, and those that have no faith in government that woke up in the morning, they lost their jobs, they lost their home, they lost their pension funds, they lost their savings, they had to pull their kids out of school, they lost their self-esteem, some lost their homes. i don't remember anywelfare reform we are talking about people that are registered democrats. these are americans that are expected -- that expected more from their government than just saying that we will be able to address your deeds in the by and by.
and the very people that are aged, god knows we are not talking about a party label. we are talking about our sick or we are talking about medicaid, we are talking about medicare, when we talk about social security how in god's name can we say we are just talking about democrats? no. we are talking about all americans that invested in this country that now see that some of them are so hopeless. we had hoped that we would deal with the debt ceiling which gives the president the ability to say when america borrows, america pays back. we thought the integrity of our great country would never be challenged certainly by members of the congress. but that's not the case. the president's being held hostage and what's being held hostage is the budget. on the other side of the issue is the question of taxes. so it appears to me that wherever you find the
vulnerable, somebody should be protecting them since the lobbyist is not knocking on the door saying protect the poor. and this is a great opportunity since the president is being hostage, that we can reform some of the things that we wanted to do, whether it's a tax system, medicare, social security, but these things are supposed to go through a process. i was honored to chair the ways and means committee which constitutionally deals with all tax issues, all fiscal issues. it deals with trade. it deals with medicare, it deals with social security, and it deals with taxes. so you wake up in the morning and you find out that the congress, 435 of us, who now have this important decision to make as we hopefully move forward after the deadline of august 2, and the senate decide these questions by the gang of
six. well, i'll be back because the longer i'm making an appeal for the congress, god bless the gang of six in trying to save this great nation. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas, mr. pompeo, for five minutes. mr. pompeo: i ask unanimous consent to -- i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pompeo: thank you, mr. speaker. last night this body passed a piece of legislation that takes a first good step towards fixing america's spending problem. towards taking on our spending addiction and addressing the enormous deficits and debt that our nations faces. . we all know there's a second component to making sure we solve this debt and deficit crisis. it's economic growth, jobs. the american consumer needs to have affordable products. an agriculture producer to survive, to continue to do the things they need to do to feed
the world. now, i've been in congress just six months now, and i watched, i've watched this administration's environmental protection agency act with respect to our agriculture community with radical indifference or worse, outright hostility. these are folks who are providing affordable food for our entire world, and yet this administration, this administration seeks to regulate it and it seeks to harass it, it seeks to impose burdens which will cause this great source of wealth for our nation to leave. and i want to talk about that because it's so important for the growth of our nation and the success of our nation to continue to have that industry thrive and i want to talk about some of the things i've seen in just these six months. you know, the american farmer needs energy. the american farmer needs affordable energy. in this morning's "wichita eagle" our primary utility in western kansas, in south
central kansas said the utility rules that this administration is about to impose will put them at a place where they cannot comply. now, i'm not talking about increased costs. we know this administration has driven higher electricity rates. we are talking about a utility that will not be able to comply with a set of regulations this administration is putting in place. that's not good for the agriculture community in kansas. they rely on affordable energy. the examples go on. this administration unthe clean air act has -- under the clean air act has attempted to regulate dust. now, i don't know about folks who live out further this day but in kansas on a dry day where it's 110 degrees, there's a little bit of dust as you drive your truck down the road. they say, no, it's a regulated particulate matter. today they're changing the clean air rules. they are taking chemicals and say, no, we want to add another
layer. you have to be permitted to have these chemicals that have already been demonstrated to be safe in their use in agriculture production. we've seen what they tried to do with greenhouse gas regulation as well and we saw this body respond by not giving the president cap and trade and i'm thankful for that but now we have an environmental protection agency that's trying to do the same through regulatory fiat. and now the department of treasury -- excuse me -- transportation is chiming in as well trying to regulate trucks, farm equipment under rules that are normally intended for cross-country truckers and trying to regulate them in the same way putting an additional burden on the agriculture community that has been operating the farm equipment in south central kansas for decades in a safe way. i hope this administration will reconsider. we cannot continue to drive costs. we cannot continue to regulate the kansas agriculture community. we cannot harass it into its
leaving our country. we know this is important. if we drive up the cost of food we'll drive up inflation. this is good for no one. i hope this administration will reconsider, that they'll use some common sense. our farmers, our agriculture producers want clean air. they make it happen. they want clean water. they ensure it happens every day. we do not need this administration to harass them into leaving the very profession that is so important to our country. and with that i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, i'm here catching my breath after the debate over the extreme tea party legislation that we considered yesterday. it's easily one of the worst bills i can remember in nearly 20 years of service here in this body. every time i think they can't possibly go any farther, the majority blows me away with the audacity of their proposal and
the cruelty of their priorities. h.r. 2560, yesterday's debt ceiling proposal, almost makes the ryan budget look progressive. it makes the continuing resolution passed back in april look positively generous. on this side of the aisle we call it the cap -- the cut, cap and end medicare plan which is completely accurate. but i'm going to give it another name today, cut, cap and continue wars because throughout the debate over the debt ceiling there's been an elephant in the room, if you'll pardon the expression, that hardly anyone is willing to acknowledge and that is the impact of waging not one, not two but three wars is having on our nation's fiscal health. afghanistan alone is costing $10 billion a month with the total price tag for iraq and afghanistan going back 10 years
$3.2 trillion. and that's a conservative estimate, mr. speaker. these are staggering figures, especially during a recession when americans are crying out for washington to do something about creating jobs and breathing life back into our economy. and what are the taxpayers getting for their trillions of dollars in war spending? more than 6,100 dead americans, continued violence in iraq and a prime minister whose cozying up to iran and an ongoing civil war in libya. a corrupt regime in kabul, insurgents that continue to kill at will. in afghanistan, a nation still under crushing poverty and an afghan government that cannot protect its own people. by any measure these wars have been a devastating failure and yet with barely any scrutiny, barely any debate and certainly
no outrage from republican leaders, we continue to write that check. meanwhile, we have domestic programs that work, proven investments in the survival and prosperity of our people. medicare, social security, medicaid, school lunches, student loans, food stamps, unemployment insurance. but the majority says these programs have to be cut and capped so we can continue three wars. republicans want to cut programs that are keeping americans alive while they want to continue funding the wars that has killed more than 6,100 americans. it blows my mind, mr. speaker. how about we ask the american people which do they prefer, these wars that have been failing us for 10 years or the guaranteed medicare benefits that will allow them and their families to retire with
dignity? i ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, do you really believe everything should be on the table, everything, and if you do, let's talk about war spending. and if you're really and truly serious about restoring fiscal sanity, where were you when the congressional progressive caucus released a plan that will put us back in the black within 10 years? a congressional progrussive budget moves we can balance the budget -- progressive budget shows that we can balance the budget. we don't need to tear the heart out of medicare to do it. we can do it by bringing fairness back to the tax code, by ending subsidies, handouts and giveaways to people and corporations who will do just fine without them. we can do it by passing a clean debt ceiling and putting our people to work and, mr. speaker, we can do it by ending
these wars once and for all and bringing our troops home where they belong. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. conseco, for five minutes. -- mr. canseco, for five minutes. mr. canseco: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. canseco: mr. speaker, there are many concerns on the minds of americans today. there's one concern that dominates discussion in every coffee shop, grocery store, barbershop, civic clubs or everywhere else americans gather, and that is the need to turn our economy around and create jobs. the american people are right to be concerned about the economy and jobs. we had 29 straight months with the unemployment rate at 8% or higher, the longest streak since the great depression. 14 million americans are unemployed, and month after month the jobs report show
anemic job growth. over two years ago, the american people were told by president obama and other washington liberals that if we just spend over $1 trillion on the so-called stimulus bill that the unemployment rate would not exceed 8%. well, in the entire obama presidency, there's only been one month, january of 2009, that the unemployment rate did not exceed 8%. every month since the stimulus bill was signed into law, in february of 2009, has seen unemployment rates at 8% or higher. it is clear that the approach of attempting to spend and borrow our way to a better economy has not worked. that's why congress needs to look to policies that will create jobs like passing the three pending free trade agreements our nation has with colombia, panama and south korea. beyond the fact that the
business roundtable estimates these agreements will create more than 250,000 jobs and are important for our economy, these agreements are also important for the united states' role in the world. there's no better illustration of this than the agreement we have pending with colombia. colombia is an important ally in latin america, and i do say that today is colombia's -- celebrate colombian independence day. they're serving as an example for other nations and in stark contrast to the dick at that torial regimes in vens -- dictatorial regimes in venezuela. we should enjoy a strong commercial relationship. passage of the free trade agreement would build upon the existing relationship and further strengthen it. apart from being beneficial for
an important ally, this agreement is important for the u.s. economy. here are just a few of the benefits that will occur with passage of the colombia free trade agreement. duty-free access for the oklahoma beaan market for more industrial goods, exports with remaining tariff phased out in 10 years. immediate duty-free access to more than 2/3 of current u.s. agricultural exports with the remaining tariffs phase out over time. strengthened intellectual property and investor protection, open service market and enhance transparency and government procurement. however, perhaps the most important reason to pass this agreement is that if we don't our competitors will. our competitors worldwide are aggressively moving to pass trade agreements.
we've already seen our market share jeopardized in colombia. for instance, although they have doubled their imports over the past five years, the u.s. has seen its market share shrink by one half. in 2008 american farmers held a 46% share of the colombian market. today, that share has diminished to 21%. in 2000, china was colombia's 12th largest trading partner. today, china is the second biggest trade partner for colombia behind the united states. failure to pass the free trade agreement will allow our competitors to enjoy an artificial advantage. at this point in our economy, why do we want -- why do we not want to do everything we can to keep the jobs we have and create new ones? we need to put the politics aside and recognize the
importance of the colombian free trade agreement, not only for our economy but for our stratenalic fathers. it's time -- strategic interests. it's time we pass the colombian free trade agreement. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, for five minutes. mr. defazio: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. well, yesterday the so-called gang of six on the senate side, six very important senators, unveiled an outline of how to save $4 trillion over the next 10 years. immediately was embraced by president obama. we really don't know much about it nor does he but he immediately embraced it. we know one thing about it, it contains something like a chained c.p. pmplet i. who cares about a chained c.p.i.? seniors, they care a lot about a chained c.p.i. middle-income americans, they care about it. they don't know it. what is a chained c.p.i.? well, the point he has , i like
mr. furman saying, we're overstating inflation with the way we address it. there is something called substitution effect. you buy something cheaper so there is not inflation. you're buying something else that's more expensive. this makes sense in the economics world. so let's say how this would work for someone on medicare. ok, you can't afford your heart bypass so instead you say to the doc, ok, i can't afford the coy pay on the heart bypass, why don't you do a hernia operation instead? this is substitution in mr. furman's world. we already understate inflation. seniors haven't gotten a cola in the past two years. tell me the price of prescription drugs and medical care hasn't gone up in the last two years. we need a different measure for seniors, for medicare, for veterans and others who consume more health care and more essentials which the c.p.i. doesn't measure.
it just measures junk that people buy. that's all it measures, and they're saying if people buy cheaper junk it will change the c.p.i. they will get $100 less a month in their social security. hmm. not too good. veterans would see their benefits also be restrained and go down about the same amount. and then there's this other little impact they're not mentioning. if you're earning $20,000 a year, the tax brackets get adjusted every year. well, they wouldn't get adjusted so much under the chained c.p.i. so someone earns $20,000 a year over 10 years would see their taxes go up 14%. but guess what, for the rich people, you earn $500,000, you're already at the top. their taxes go up .3%. 14% for someone who earns $0,000. .3% for someone who earns $500,000.
and obama has embraced this? what's happened down at the white house? they're listening to these pointy head economists and going after programs that are important to the american people. . all of this combined would save $4 trillion over 10 years. seniors will pay more, working people will pay more, veterans will pay more, rich people, not so much. but it would save $4 trillion. guess what? if we let all the bush tax cuts expire at the end of next year, all of them and the stupid social security tax holiday, that would be $5 trillion over 10 years and we wouldn't have cut social security. we wouldn't have cut veterans' benefits. we wouldn't have asked low-income and middle-income people to pay more taxes. does that make more sense? i think so. let's hope they rethink down at the white house. i hope the american people are watching closely. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran. mr. moran: thank you, mr.
speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for five minutes. mr. moran: last night we were asked to amend the constitution. after 2/1/4 centuries in a way that will termly limit the ability of all of government to foster competitiveness in a global economy. to generate greater equality of opportunity, to treat our seniors with dignity and respect, and to defend and define this great nation as an ever shining democratic beacon of hope and prosperity. so i was proud to vote against the cut, cap, and balance act. it is the house republicans' vision for america's future. this is a vision in which the country turns its back on the achievements of the last century and chooses not to invest in
meeting the challenges of the next century. the republicans aim to use a crisis of their own making to hamstring future congresses, limiting our ability to make necessary infrastructure investments, to care for the poor or aged and disabled, and to respond to national and international crises. the 18% spending cap mandated by the bill would return the government to spending levels not seen since the establishment of medicare and medicaid. the impending retirement of more than 70 million baby boomers means that these spending levels are woefully inadequate. unless we condemn our grandparents to a severely diminished quality of life. the republican party when enshrined constitutional protections for tax cuts and loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations. requiring an unattainable 2/3
majority in both the house and senate for the government to increase the currently unsustainably low level levels of roughly 15% of g.d.p. this would unnecessarily result in unpress didn'ted cuts in student loans and grants, transportation, education, environmental protection, law enforcement, in other words the physical and human infrastructure of our economy. the only budget plan that comes close to meeting the requirements of these constitutional amendments is the republican study committee budget which eliminates 70% of nondefense discretionary funding by 2021. contains deep cuts to medicare, cuts medicaid, food stamms, complell security income for the elderly, disabled, poor, in half by the end of the decade and raises the social security retirement age at 70. yesterday's vote means the republican majority is demanding that a return for avoiding an economically disastrous result on our debt we make $111 billion
in immediate spending cuts. these cuts seriously increase the likelihood of a double dip recession. it's estimated they could cost the loss of more than $1 million public sector jobs in the next year alone. last month the economy added an anemic 18,000 jobs, but in fact the private sector added 57,000 jobs. while 39,000 public sector jobs were lost, in addition to the 49,000 public sector jobs lost in the prior month. this is a continuing trend. half a million public sector employees have now lost their jobs. 200,000 of them teachers while student enrollment has increased by 750,000. firing more government workers will only decrease aggregate demand making it that much harder to sustain the recovery. we witnessed this before. in 1937 president roosevelt responded to similar pressure by substantially reducing federal spending before the great depression was fully in the rear-view mirror. it drove us right back into
economic depression. the economy wouldn't recover until the increased spending and hiring that accompanied the world war ii armaments buildup got the country moving again. after the war spending on education and housing for our g.i.'s, the marshal plan for europe established a permanent middle class and sustainable prosperity. this is not the time for the democratic party to sacrifice our values. values held by a majority of the american people, even in the face of opposition that has reached unprecedented levels of ideological radicalization. we have to address our long-term deficits for the sake of future generations, but we must do so in a balanced manner, combining rational spending cuts and increased revenue. that's what's worked in the past. that's what we need to do now. we must not ahandon, not only the people that depend upon the government for their quality of life, but we must not let this great nation become a second
class society and a third rate economy and if a bill that was passed last night were to be enacted into law, that's exactly what it would do. that's why i was proud to vote against it. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. farr, for five minutes. mr. farr: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise today to clarify a mischaracterization of the administrative costs of the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, commonly known as w.i.c. it's interesting you can come down here on the floor or speak in committee and we are protected as members of congress to say anything we want. it doesn't require we havele to say everything fob factually correct. -- to be factually correct.
sometimes those misstatements get into the record. in this case the complaint or the statement in subcommittee and full committee and even in debate here on the floor of the agricultural appropriations bill, it was asserted that the administrative costs in this program were up to 40% of the total costs of w.i.c. this is a misstatement of fact. although it was included in the report language and it was adopted by the committee. so i come to -- today to point out that the 40% administrative costs claimed by the majority are based on selected data from a 2008 brookings institute report. it didn't come from the department of agriculture which administers the program. the brookings report collapsed several legislative man dates monday none -- mandated monday
none tarry programs including the education -- none monetary programs including the education . and how to do proper breast-feeding. other client services. issues like health care referrals. even immunization screenings. these were counted as administrative costs when they are mandated by us in congress to be carried out. they are programmatic costs. it wasn't proper for the brookings report to include those as administrative costs. breast-feeding, nutrition education, immunization screening are vital programs which improve birth outcomes. and reduce the incidents of health problems. for w.i.c. participants. they should not be categorized as administrative cost foss purposes of budgeting -- costs for purposes of budgeting. today i'd like to pont out that
in recent letter to our committee on -- to point out that in a recent letter to our committee on agriculture appropriations which i'm the ranking member from our secretary, secretary of agriculture, secretary vilsack, and i'm including this letter in this comments today, he notes that the food and nutrition service delivers its program management and actual administrative costs at a steady 9.09% rate. far less than the 40% purported in the brookings institute and included in the committee report. w.i.c. is effective in improving the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. i feel it is important to clarify that the w.i.c. program is meeting its mission, it's meeting the law to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritional food and
supplemental diets and information on hlty eating and referrals to other health care services. as members of congress, we should not do the program any further disservice by erroneous figures being included in the report. so today, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert in the record the letters from secretary vilsack pointing this out and to make the record clear that the w.i.c. program is indeed being administered very soundly and fiscally serve servely. thank you very much. -- conservatively. thank you very much. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. speier, for five minutes. ms. speier: mr. speaker, for the last few months i have come to this floor every week to talk about a moral black eye on this country. the issue of rape and sexual assault in the military.
i mentioned the fact that the pentagon has estimated that 19,000 service members are raped or sexually assaulted each and every year. the victims typically are blamed and the asillants are promoted. and i have shared the personal stories of several women who needed to have a bright light shined on this ongoing epidemic. but it's not only females in the military that are victims. men are being victimized as well. in april, 2011 article entitled "military's secret shame," "newsweek" looked at the subject hardly anyone talks about. male on male rape and sexual assault. mr. speaker, it is time to break this silence. last year nearly 50,000 male veterans screened positive for, quote, military sexual trauma, unquote.
think about that, 50,000 men. that's nearly double what it was in 2003. another 110 men made confidential reports of sexual assault by other men, nearly three times what it was in 2007. we know the number of actual victims is much higher. the latest department of defense report showed that only 13% of those who are raped in the military actually report them. men, keep quiet for the same reasons women do. a military system that gives them virtually no chance of justice. in 2010, the pentagon anonymously asked active duty soldiers who had been sexually assaulted why they did not report their attacks. half of them said they didn't want anyone to know. a third said they didn't think anything would be done. and 30% said they were afraid of retaliation or reprisals.
i now want to share with you the story of blake stevens. i warn you some of the material is graphic. stevens joined the army in 2001. the vrble and physical attacks started quickly and came from virtually every level of the chain of command. and one of the worst incidents a group of men tackled him, shoved a soda bottle into his rectum, and threw him backwards off an elevated platform on to the hood of a car. when he reported the incident, his platoon sergeant told him, quote, you're the problem. you're the reason this is happening. unquote. and refused to take action. . his assailants told him that once deployed to iraq they would shoot him in the head. i recently received an email from heath philips who joined the navy at the young age of 17 in 1988.
philips was attacked on multiple occasions beginning his first week on duty. when he reported the assault he was called a liar, baby, mama's boy and a few other choice words. he would complain to the chain of command and be told to shut up and ask for witnesses. in one particularly horrific incident a group of men attacked philip in the shower and sodomized him with a toilet brush handle. they laughed and joked about it the whole time. after he went to the infirmary bleeding and in pain he was told he was fine and to take the day off. philips eventually went awol to protect himself and he still suffers until this day. mr. speaker, this is a moral black eye on the military. it's a moral black eye on this congress. and it's a moral black eye on this nation. it is time to stop talking and to take action. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. sarbanes, for five minutes. mr. sarbanes: mr. speaker, i rise today as i do each year on the anniversary of turkey's unlawful invasion of sign russ to begin call -- cyprus to again call upon them to end the 37-year occupation of this nation. the tragic history of the occupation is well documented. sadly, with each passing year still more indignities are visited upon the cypria people. on christmas morning, 2010, a large number of orthodox christians made their way to the st. cinios church. the turkish occupation drove
out the worshipers and sealed off the doors of the building. this was an assault on religious freedom. turkish occupation authorities demolished the 200-year-old chapel of st. beckla, located in the village of bacoliva. this is examples of the oppression of the orthodox christian faith that is carried on by turkish authorities on the island. the united states commission on international religious freedom, the body that is tasked by this congress on the state of religious freedom throughout the world in terms of advising us on that situation, reports that gross violations of religious freedom occur in the areas under the control of the turkish occupation authorities.
turkey's foreign minister has proclaimed that turkey's foreign policy is rooted in the doctrine of, quote, zero problems with its neighbors, unquote. unfortunately, the fruits of this doctrine apeerl to be wholly absent in turkey's relations with the republic of cyprus. under the you a pisses of the united nations, turkey agreed -- under the auspices of the united nations, turkey agreed in 1979 to withdraw and hand over a city to its rightful inhabitants. despite the annual calls of the united nations for turkey, the city remains a ghost town. the international community continually demands the withdrawal of the overwhelming turkey presence on the island of cyprus.
however, they have not even considered a reduction of military troops. as a candidate country seeking anticipation to the european union, they have been advised to open their air and sea ports to the republic of cyprus as a condition for the further negotiation of the chapters. turkey, nonetheless, refuses to open its ports to cypriat flag vessels. they will hold the european union in the second half of 2012, a sumette -- summit. the foreign minister just the other day threatened the european union that turkey will free its relations with that body when the republic of cyprus holds its presidency. mr. speaker, this is not the conduct of a country serious about joining the family of
democratic nations. the united states, the european union and the united nations all call for a just and lasting settlement that reunifies cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. after years of broken promises, it's high time that this chamber say that turkey conduct itself with the values expected of a democracy, a candidate of the european union. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until the hour of 12
i can't simply have jessica transfer assets into eileen's name. anything over $13,000 a year triggers the effects. >> thank you. obviously i'm trying to build a record here. let me speak about veterans' benefits. don't-ask, don't-tell has been repealed. so gay servicemen will soon be able to put their lives on the line in service to our country in the military. and they receive a number of benefits on the account of their service to our nation. for example, if a veteran dies in service, the surviving spouse will receive death benefits. if a veteran dies from a disability related to his service, the surviving spouse can receive benefits. a veteran spouse can also be buried with their deceased spouse at a military cemetery. under doma, the spouses of gay service members will be
excluded from these benefits even though those service members performed exactly the same service to our country and put their lives on the line for the united states. my question is for any witness that would care to answer. can you tell us the extent of doma on gay service members and their spouses? >> senator, i can tell you briefly from a nongay case that i just had, i do divorce work and i just represented a woman who is divorcing her husband who's active in the military and she is entitled to half -- 55% of his pension. he's about ready to retire after 20 years in the military. she's divorcing him and she's getting 55% of his military pension. anything -- any same-sex couple , it's just not available to
them. >> thank you very much. and thank all of you for being here today. it's very important and very grateful. senator whitehouse. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for your leadership on this issue. i will glad to yield -- ok. this discussion that we're having is so often a clash between ideology and just human stories, but what i'd like to do is take the time and echo the testimony of ron and andrew and susan with stories from rhode island, david and rock wrote to me from providence. we now both have active and busy careers, a teenager thinking of clemmings and shrinking assets. we have the concerns of most families. in fact, if we were a heterosexual couple ours would be the story of a conservative american family, the importance
of education, the importance of faith, delaying marriage until financially stable, marriage followed by a shared household followed by child rearing. and then there is doma. we carry our marriage documents, adoption documents and medical care proxy documents when we travel. i'm ineligible for inclusion in military family benefits. we're not eligible to file joint income tax. we're ineligible for spousal social security benefits in the event of the death of one of us. it's time to end this discriminatory policy. carl and ann write, we've been together since 1987 and had 20 foster children. for 30 years i've worked at the same company and paid taxes and been a model citizen for 23 years ann has taken care of children in need. at one high school we were known as the ladies. and educators breathe a sigh of relief when they knew we were
our foster parents. our efforts have great changes in 20 young lives. we're doing our beth to make this a better world. please pass the respect for marriage act and we want to tell our foster children we are married 100%. bill and bernie write, we've been a couple for over 20 years. we live quietly and go about our business without bothering anyone. i was born 59 years ago and my partner was born 55 years ago. because the passage of doma, we've seen our rights taken away from us. why is this? ernie and -- ernie will not cause harm to anyone. it makes no sense to set us outside the protections of federal law to make us less than full citizens of the united states. please ask your colleagues in the senate to support the return of our civil rights. that is the only civil thing to do. and finally, from a story in
"the providence journal" about pat and deborah. pat has been in public service for a long time. she's a 51-year-old correctional officer. it says here, she was never a gay rights activist. but after doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer. her spouse will not have the benefits. the story stunned baker, leading her to embark on what may be her first and last act of bravery in the name of marriage equality. the story concludes, they are not entitled to the full scope of protections with regard to end of life issues, disposition of remains. who is considered next of kin? who gets to make decisions on medical care, organ donations and more? noting that the couple has spent thousands of extra
dollars trying to put in place such protections, they say, i hope it's a reminder to the legislators that this is not abstract. this is a really tragic illustration of how these vulnerable situations are made so much more difficult because these same-sex couples are not treated like everybody else. could -- i look forward to their attention. look forward to working with, in particular, senator feinstein with passage of her bill. i want to recognize her leadership and want too recognize the leadership of our chairman. there have been many occasions when this hearing room has been made the fulcrum of progress. this is another such occasion. i want to recognize him for that. >> thank you very much, senator whitehouse. and i think we've all been fortunate with the leadership you've shown, senator feinstein
has shown, and others. go ahead, sir. >> i begrudgeonly yield to the senator. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to especially thank the witnesses who shared their personal stories with us and what you are doing here is very important. not just for the millions of americans directly affected by so-called defense of marriage act but for our entire nation. doma is an injustice. it's an immoral and discriminatory law. our nation was founded on the premise that all people are created equal and that all persons should receive equal treatment under the law. our society may be different than it was then but these principles remain the same. that's why i'm an original co-sponsor of the respect for marriage act and that's why i think the day we repeal doma
will be a great day in this nation akin to the ratification of the 19th amendment, the passage of the civil rights act. i think that congressman louis' presence spoke to that -- congressman lewis' presence spoke to that in a very powerful way. mr. chairman, i want to submit my statement in the record. mr. minnery, on page 8 of your written testimony, you write, "children living in their own married, biological, adoptive or mother -- with their own married, biological or adoptive mothers and fathers were generally healthier and happier, had better access to health care, less likely to suffer mild or severe emotional problems, did better in school, were protected from physical, emotional and sexual abuse and almost never live in poverty compared with children in any other family forum" you cite a
department of health and human services study i have right here from december, 2010, to support this conclusion. i checked the study out. [laughter] and i'd like to enter it into the record, if i may. >> without objection, so ordered. >> and actually doesn't say what you said it says. it says that nuclear families, not opposite sex married families, are associated with those positive outcomes. isn't it true, mr. minnery, that a married same-sex couple that has had or adopted kids would fall under the definition of a nuclear family in the study that you cite? >> i would think that the study
when it cites nuclear families would mean a family headed by a husband and wife. >> it doesn't. [laughter] the study defines nuclear family as one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family. and i frankly don't really know how we can trust the rest of your testimony if you are reading studies these ways. ms. murray, i recently read about a minnesota same-sex couple with two daughters. the working partner and their daughters could get health insurance through that partner's employer but they couldn't afford to cover the
nonworking partner who was named shannon because every contribution they or their employer made to shannon's coverage would be fully taxable under federal law. now, shannon and her partner can't get married in minnesota, but even if they could, doma would mean that their situation would remain the same. according to one estimate, because of doma, same-sex couples pay $1,069 more annually for health coverage than opposite-sex employees. as senator feinstein mentioned, you have had to go through this. can you tell us how same-sex couples end up paying or coping with these disparities? >> senator, a lot of them simply don't get health insurance and they end up in the emergency room. my partner's physician
assistant works in burlington, vermont, and she sees these couples coming in when they can't afford insurance. so our system is paying for at least on an emergency basis, is paying for their health care. the kids are not getting if the kids are not covered, they are not getting, you know, regular checkups. nor the partners. that's a huge problem that we have on a long-term basis in terms of health care. >> thank you very much. and thank you to all the witnesses. mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. using our usual early bird rule, senator -- >> well, almost all of them. >> >> thank you, chairman leahy. thank you, to you, and to senator feinstein for your long and determined work for repealing doma. thank you to the members of our panel who shared personal stories of veterans, teachers,
attorneys, they represent i know thousands of their constituents, our colleagues, our classmates, friends who have gone through similar, suffering mistreatment through doma. the purpose of today's hearing is to look at senate bill 598 and to consider the imact doma has had on legally married couples who have been denied access to all sorts of different benefits, rights. as ms. murray mentioned, they are like waves on a beech that just drive away the -- beach that just drive away the possibility of equality even those recognized couples. this hearing is fundamentally about equality and whether or not we as a nation think it's ok to deny some american citizens the same rights and privileges afforded to other citizens. do we really think it is ok for our federal government to say we simply don't like who you love? and my question here is how we can have an answer that is anything other than
emphatically no. equality is supposed to be, in my opinion, equality for all, and i don't see what business it is for the federal government to reach in our americans' hearts and tell them who they love. particularly when their state has said it's ok. i'm tired of the federal government to discriminate against americans solely based on their gender, identity and sexual orientation and tired of seeing kids growing up in a nation and being bullied in school, taken their lives. this law encourages discrimination. i think we have bigger problems in our country than going out of the way to continue to discriminate against and deny rights to americans. we heard today some of these witnesses i think movingly testified about how same-sex marriage is at real harm from doma.
in my view, others have testified here and elsewhere about how some same-sex marriage threatens or hurts heterosexual marriage. i don't know about my colleagues but my wedding ring and my marriage did not magically dissolve or disappear just because new york passed a same-sex marriage bill last month. in my view, s. 598 is about restoring rights. it's not about taking them away. it's about writing these wrongs and moving on. i am a person of faith. my family and i worship regularly and i am raising children in what my be considered a traditional marriage. but i don't think that my faith, which informs my politics, empowers me to have a monopoly on the interpretation of the will of god. in my view it's expressly not appropriate for the federal government to discriminate against couples based on who they love. so in my view the defense of marriage act is just wrong. it's wrong and needs to be repealed. i'm grateful for the chairman
and to the witnesses before us for having laid out in clear compelling ways how doma has harmed them correctly. i'd be grateful to take a moment to ask some of the witnesses about the symbolic harm that doma has also imposed on you because you've spoken in compelling ways about financial loss, loss of a home, loss of survivors' benefits, loss of health benefits, loss of respect, but i'd be interested in hearing, if i could, further about the symbolic power of doma in your lives to any of the three witnesses, ron, andrew or susan. mr. so'oto. -- mr. soto. >> senator, i'm glad to be able to respond to that. i was a teacher and principal, as i told you, for 35 years. every day of my career i led my students in the pledge of
allegiance, and that pledge of allegiance ends with liberty and justice for all. for 35 years every day when it came to those words i stood in front of my students with a blank face but inside i knew it was not true. i knew as a history teacher that it had not been true for blacks, it had not been true for women, it had not been true for mixed race couples, and i knew that it was not true then for same-gender couples. and i had to stand before them and say that. and i also had every day of my career until the very end when i finally got the courage to admit who i was to always use the pronoun i to my students when they asked me questions
that probed into my personal life. i was going on vacation. i did this. i could not say we because the next question was, well, who is the other person, and i knew that would lead to lots of problems. so it's a good question, senator, because the financial aspect of this is only one aspect of the harm that doma does and the discrimination against gay people. it's an insult to our dignity and our sense, as i said in my testimony, seines of equality. i grew up in a normal household. my father died when i was a year old. i grew up -- but normal in that my mother, my sister and i had a loving home and my mother brought me up to be as ethical as possible. i knew from her example the
difference between right and wrong. that it was wrong to discriminate against the black people who lived in the housing project that i lived in in providence, rhode island. and i believed as a person who studied history and loved history from the time i was a child that this country that's supposed to be the shining beacon on the hill, according to the people who settled the massachusetts bay colony, this country was formed on ideals of equality and justice, and we have had to struggle to fight every generation to extend that idea of freedom and justice to more and more groups. and my group, my community is the latest to have to fight for that. and i'm appalled and baffled at
how representative of our countries in the senate and the house cannot see the historical perspective on this, that some of our own representatives and senators who are there to protect the minority are allowing us to become the victims of the majority which to me is unconstitutional. and i'm sorry to say i can't understand how they do not see that they are the philosophical descendents of those who defended slavery, who defended laws against mixed race couples and who defended the laws that allowed separate but equal status that representative lewis so eloquently spoke of in his testimony. >> thank you, mr. sorbo. sometimes it takes a history teacher to see our way clearly to the future.
i, too, found congressman lewis' testimony very moving and yours equally so. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. our next witness is senator -- next one to question -- >> i hope not a witness. i would yield to senator durbin. >> gentleman. senator durbin. senator blumenthal, former attorney general of connecticut, go ahead. >> thank you for your leadership and senator feinstein's and other members of the committee who joined in this cause and thank you to all of the witnesses who are here today, particularly to mr. sorbo from the town of berlin, connecticut. it's a small town. there are those of us who love it.
and i want to say at the very outset my thanks to you, all of you for giving a voice to some abstract and seemingly complicated principles of constitutional law and basic liberties and rights. you've given a face and a voice in terms of practical consequences of the respect for marriage act and i regard this hearing as really historic day for our nation. nations like people are judged by their capacity for growth and i think today marks another step in the growth of our nation and the progression toward recognizing some principles that go to the very core of what makes our nation the greatest in the history of the world. so i thank you, all of you for being here today. you know, for me some of these
questions are much narrower. than the constitutional issues that are being debated in the courts because what really matters here is the respect for connecticut's law. and mr. sorbo, you were married under connecticut law. respect for connecticut law means that the federal government should recognize that law and give it the kind of sanctity that the founders of this nation meant for the laws of our states to have. states do have the prerogative to establish the rules that surround marriage just as they do inherentans and divorce. and so for the federal government to discriminate against some marriages in the way that it does is also is
respect for connecticut law as well as connecticut's people and connecticut's marriages. so in order to illustrate some of the practical consequences here, i think you mentioned the effect on your ability to access the i.r.a. i want you to talk a little bit of how you were unable and people don't think of i.r.a.'s being a function of -- how you were unable to access it fully as you would have been otherwise if doma had not existed. >> senator, after colin died, i went to speak to a financial advisor of how to transfer all of the assets which we had done everything we could to protect in terms of putting it in both of our names. and yale university required
colin to have that i.r.a. in his name so that when he passed away -- and we tried to transfer that over because i had the right of survivorship, we spent hours and hours and hours on the phone. it would have been almost a comic program if it would have been recorded because my financial advisor sat there talking from -- to one person after another and each one of them at yale had different opinion about what needed to be done. and disagreeing and so on. and it took us many, many hours, many days to finally get it transferred over. the ultimate result was i guess they went to one of their lawyers. i'm mott sure. whoever they went to finally decided they could not recognize our marriage under -- because of federal law, because of doma. and so therefore we had to
change -- transfer that i.r.a. into an inherited i.r.a. now, the difference -- i'm not an expert on this but my understanding was because my marriage wasn't recognized it had to go over as an inherited i.r.a. which then i had to begin withdrawing on the december after the year following colin's death. now, if i had been a woman that would not have been the case. i could have deferred withdrawing that until i think 70 1/2 by law that you have to begin withdrawing a minimum amount. that may not seem like a lot but that seven extra years would have allowed me to build up that asset before i began to withdraw from it, and that's what my financial advisor would have liked to have done because at my age i'm still really
healthy. i go to the gym. i try to take care of myself as much as i can. i'm not facing large health bills which i might be facing in the future. and so -- and, of course, inflation eating up my income, every retired person knows inflation is the big gorilla in the closet for us. so that denied me the ability to do what i could have done and what my sister could do is to build up that asset until she was 70 1/2. >> i think as you have testified just to complete your story, the practical consequences extended to the family medical leave act, survivors benefits, very practical, sizeable consequences to you because of doma which wouldn't have otherwise existed even though under connecticut law you were lawfully married? >> that's right. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> is there anyone i can yield to? [laughter] thank you very much, mr. chair, and thanks to the witnesses who are here today. there are events in the life of a senator that are memorable and one of those that comes to my mind was attending the bill signing ceremony where president obama signed the law which repealed don't-ask, don't-tell. it was a day of great celebration and relief. the rabbi who gave the invocation that day, i remember his words, said, "when you look into the eyes of another person, if you don't see the face of god, at least see the face of another human being." and i thought to myself, that that really is what this conversation is all about. recognizing our own frailts and weaknesses and -- frailities and weaknesses and strengths
but seeing in the face another human being. the woman who gave the invocation is a woman i have not met but admired and told her stories many times. retired u.s. air force colonel. this was a woman who served as combat nurse during vietnam, risking her life for our men and women in uniform and progressing through the ranks to the status of colonel and then answering honestly one day on the questionnaire that she was lesbian. and for that she was discharged from service. there was never any suggestion that she had ever done anything wrong or ever failed in her duty to her country. but she was the victim of outright discrimination. senator grassley was kind enough to mention my name in his opening statement. i thank him. and mentioned the fact i voted for the defense of marriage act. that's true. and others did as well. i won't use that as an explanation or excuse.
but i recall when a former congressman from illinois named abraham lincoln was challenged because he changed his position on an issue and his smanges was very simple. he said, i'd rather be right some of the time than wrong all the time. that is why i'm an original co-sponsor of respect for marriage act that senator feinstein has introduced. i believe this is imminently fair and gives to those who are in a loving relationship an opportunity to receive benefits which they deserve. mr. minnery, i read your testimony. i wasn't here when you presented it, but if we were truly interested in the welfare of children, and we are, it seems to me that denying basic financial resources to a loving couple who adopted a child is not the way to help that child. in fact, i think we can find in many instances families that struggle financially have a tougher time raising children.
not all the time but many times. it just makes a lot more sense for us to recognize under the law that when it comes to federal benefits the same-sex relationship that's recognized in the state is going to be recognized by our federal government across the united states of america. i would just close by saying that i know this is an issue which has evolved in america. the feelings of most americans, the majority about same-sex marriage have changed. and i think they have changed for the better. this new law does not mandate any, does not mandate any religion to change its beliefs. this new mandate does not mandate any state to change its laws. what it does is say that as a nation our federal government is going to recognize the rights of same-sex couples to the basic benefits which they are entitled to. this could have been a hearing under my subcommittee for constitutional law and human
rights but chairman leahy asked if he could make it a full committee hearing. i'm glad he has so that more of my colleagues could come here and speak and be on the record for the respect of same-sex marriage act. >> thank you, senator durbin. we have a vote at 12:00. there's another panel coming up. so i'm going to move on. i hope that's agreeable. but let me thank everyone. i've been in a lot of these. this was very good testimony. and i think all of us will remember it. so thank you all very much and we'll move on to the next panel and i will quickly introduce them.
the oath. do you swear that the testimony you are about to give before the committee is the truth, the whole truth so help you god. >> yes. >> first we will welcome joe solmonese, the president of the human rights campaign. it's our nation's largest advocacy association for gay, lesbian. he was chief executive list -- he lives in washington, d.c. and is a graduate of boston university. mr. solomonese, please proceed. please limit your opening remarks to five minutes. your full statements will be placed in the record in their entirety. as senator feinstein just recognized, there is a new vote which may require us to do a little juggling to manage. mississippi solmonese, please
proceed. -- mr. solmonese, please proceed. >> thank you, mr. senator. on more than one million members and supporters nationwide, i want to thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony in today's historic hearing. i also want to thank senator feinstein for her leadership on this legislation and on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in california and all across the country. every week i have the opportunity to travel this country and to speak with members of my community with their families, with their friends, with their religious leaders and with their employers about the distinct difficulties that they face in the form of discrimination. now, i have the privilege of bringing their stories and their concerns before this committee. gay and lesbian couples work hard. they work hard to provide for their families, they work hard to provide quality health care. they work hard to plan for
retirement and save for college just like their friends and family, just like their neighbors and co-workers. but they do so in a country that still refuses to recognize them as equals. and for those who are lucky enough to live in states that do permit them to marry, they still face a federal government that treats their marriages as if they do not exist. so on behalf of the tens of thousands of married same-sex couples in this country, including myself and my husband, i urge congress to pass the respect for marriage act and to end the federal government's disrespect for and discrimination against lawfully married same-sex couples. doma harms thousands of families as they try to manage the day-to-day issues of their lives. families like rachel black and lee matthews from the bronx who are here today with their beautiful daughter, nora. rachel and lee met in college in mississippi and have been
together for 13 years. with marriage now a reality for gay and lesbian couples, rachel and leigh are excited to tie the knot. the joy of finally being able to married is tempered for the fact that doma is in the way of true equality. rachel and leigh worry every day about the important protections that they will be denied like unpaid leave from work for one to care for the other if she gets sick or the ability to continue health coverage for their family if one of them gets laid off. doma means that the many protections the federal government provides for the health and security of american families remains out of reach for same-sex couples and their children. it keeps, for instance, gay and lesbian americans from sponsoring their spouses for immigration to the united states, forcing binational couples to choose between love
and country. it's social security benefits earned by their loved ones through years of hard work. senator feinstein talked about the impact of doma on don't-ask, don't-tell. it bars the spouse of a gay or lesbian service member or veteran from being buried with him or her in a veterans cemetery. as you heard today, particularly from those who have felt firsthand the hardship imposed by doma, the iment pact of this discriminatory law is real and it is unconscionable. it is long past time for the federal government to end its discrimination against lawfully married same-sex couples. congress must repeal this law enacted solely to treat gay and lesbians unequally and so i urge you to pass the respect for marriage act and to ensure that all american families have the full respect and protection of their federal government. thank you.
>> thank you, mr. solmonese. we go to mr. austin nimoccks, senior legal counsel for the alliance defense fund. a.d.f. is closely in defending doma. mr. nimocks earned his bachelors degree from austin, texas. you may proceed. >> thank you for the privilege in testifying here today. mr. chairman, as debates rage this day regarding budget deficits and debt ceilings and jobs, i'm pleased this body is taking the time to discuss mothers and fathers. arguably, the two most important jobs in our society. this legislation also gives us the opportunity to look at an important thing that's often overlook, why is government in the marriage business? mr. chairman, as you are aware, congress enacted doma in 1986
and asked -- civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and childbirth. government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children, unquote. this truth remains today and americans agree. as evidence by likely the most extensive national research survey on americans' attitude about marriage in may of this year, we know that 62% americans agree that marriage should be defined as only a union between one man and one woman. mr. chairman, marriage is not just a mere law or creature of statute but it's a social institution had a has universally crossed all political, religious, societyiological, geographical lines. one athiest said, but for children there would be no institution concerned. it is for children alone that
it is an importance for society and worthy to take cognizant of by a legal institution. end quote. a married -- marriage doesn't prescribe conduct or prevent individuals from living how they want to live. and individuals marry, mr. chairman, for a wide variety of personal reasons. but today's discussion should not be about the private reasons why individuals marry but about this policy of our country. as a whole and the government's unique interest in this public institution. because the government's interest in marriage is different than the reason individuals marry, it is not on the cup's ability and desire to find happiness together. their love for financial entanglement or dedication to each other. rather, marriage stems from the fact that children are the product of the sexual relationships between men and women. and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be
necessary for children. that's throughout history, diverse cultures and faith recognize marriage as one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies. the studies over a long period of time demonstrate that the ideal family structure for a child is a family headed by an opposite sex biological parent in a low conflict marriage. but some, mr. chairman, are asking you to ignore the unique and demonstrable differences between men and women and parenthood. no mothers, no fathers, just generic parents. but, mr. chairman, there are no generic people. we are composed of two complementary but two areas of humanity. the truth is that the two sexes are not fungible. inherent differences between men and women we have come to appreciate remain cause for celebration, unquote. this body should also disavow any notion that repealing doma is a constitutional mandate. mr. chairman, in 1967 the supreme court decided the case
of loving against virginia. in that case the supreme court struck down a race-based marriage law that prohibited whites from marrying anyone of color. in so ruling, the supreme court talked about marriage as, quote, fundamental to our very existence and survival, end quote, discussing the timeless and procreated aspects of marriage. just five years later the supreme court in 1972 substantively upheld a decision by the virginia supreme court said that marriage laws, like doma, are not unconstitutional and rejected a claim for same-sex marriage. mr. chairman, not one single justice at the united states supreme court found the constitutional claims against marriage worthy of a court's review. marriage between a woman and man naturally builds families and gives hope that the next generation will carry that family into the future. while some may argue, mr. chairman, that times have changed they cannot creditably argue that humanity as a gendered species have changed.
men and women are still wonderfully and uniquely different. and men and women still play important and necessary roles in the family. in conclusion, mr. chairman, because of the fundamental truth that children are the product of sexual relationships between women and -- men and women and that men and women bring something different to the table of parenting, this protects the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. thank you for the time and privilege, mr. chairman. >> next we will hear from ed whalen. president of the ethics and policy center. mr. whalen is a contributor to national review online. he served as deputy assistant attorney general as well as general counsel previously to this committee. mr. whalen earned his undergraduate and law degrees from harvard university. you may proceed. >> my thanks to senator layly and senator grassley for
allowing me to testify. s. 598 is misleadingly titled the respect for marriage act. far from respecting marriage, this bill will empty the term of any core content. it would redefine marriage for purposes of federal law to include anything that any state now in the future recognizes as a marriage. the effect and the evidence purpose of the bill is how the federal government validates so-called same-sex marriage by requiring marriage for purposes of federal law any such union recognized as a marriage under state law. the bill would require taxpayers in the state that maintains traditional marriage laws to subsidize provision of federal benefits to same-sex unions in other states. further, the principles in both advocates of same-sex marriage and their ongoing attack on traditional marriage pave the way for polygamist and other polyamorist unions. under the bill, any polyamorist union recognizes that a
marriage under state law would have to be recognized by federal government for purposes of federal law. thus, the foreseeable effect of the bill would to have the federal government validate any states adoption of polyamory and allow taxpayers throughout the country to sdice polygamists and other polyamorist unions. and it would repeal the doma. doma was approved by an overwhelming majority of both houses and congress and was signed into law by president clinton in 1996. it reaffirms the law and understanding of what marriage really means. a legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife. the protection of the values of federalism, it safeguards the prerogative of each state to decide not to treat same-sex marriage entered in another state. it operates to help ensure that one state does not effectively impose same-sex marriage on another state or on the entire
nation. at the same time, legal citizens of every state is free to decide whether or not their state should redefine its marriage laws. it is a profound confusion who believe that the values of federalism requires the federal government to defer to or incorporate the marriage laws of the various states in determining what marriage means in provisions of federal law. now, it's worth noting that the current members of this committee who voted on doma in 1996, 1997 -- seven voted for it. senator leahy and cole as well as senator shumer and durbin who voted as house members. vice president joseph biden, harry reid, barbara and others i don't have time to say. it refutes the revisionist
claim that doma somehow embodies an irrational bigotry against same-sex couples. doma's spousal benefits reflects the longstanding judgment that that relationship which is inherently lippingd to procreation and child rearing is something of support. people often refute that judgment. but no one can be surprised of how it is operated. while it's natural that everyone would hope for more federal benefits for themselves, no one can plausiblely claim that doma somehow disrupted his or her own financial planning. doma was enacted eight years before the massachusetts imposed same-sex marriage in this country so there was never a time when anyone in the same-sex union had any reason that that would entitled him or her to federal spousal benefits. more, it's wrong to assert, as some do, the definition of marriage has always been a matter up to the states. our predecessors understood
what too many americans have forgotten or never learned or find it convenient to obscure. namely the marriage practices that the society endorses has real-world consequences that extend far beyond those seeking to marry or to shame and form the broader culture. that broader consideration of polygamy, that's why congress in its separate enabling acts to the admission of arizona, oklahoma, utah conditionsed their admission on including anti-polygamy in their state institutions. it makes the all jarring -- state constitutions. it makes it all the jarring that it would require federal taxpayers to subsidize any of this uphold i d by the states. the obama administration -- i'll close with the observation that this bill is ill conceived legislation and should proceed no further. legislators who genuinely want to respect marriage should
defend traditional marriage, not undermine it. >> finally, we wock mr. evan wolfson. mr. wolfson is founder and executive director of freedom to marry, a campaign to end marriage discrimination. he was part of the hawaii marriage case. has participated in many other landmark hived aids -- hiv-aids cases. he earned his b.a. from yale university in 1978 after which he served as a peace corps volunteers in a village in africa. he graduated from harvard law school and has appeared before the supreme court in the boy scouts vs. dale. in 2004, mr. wolfson was named one of the most 100 influential people in the world by "time" magazine. author of "why marriage matters" which was published in 2004. mr. wolfson, please proceed. >> thank you, senator coons,
members of the committee. as the senator said, i am evan wolfson, founder and director of freedom to marry. i am the author of "why marriage matters." i'm very pleased to be here today to support the respect for marriage act which would return the federal government to its traditional and appropriate role of respecting marriages performed in the states. i want to thank chairman leahy for holding this hearing, chief sponsor senator feinstein, my senator, senator gillibrand, for their leadership in introducing this important legislation in the senate. 15 years ago this summer i was in a courtroom in hawaii along with my nongay co-counsel, dan foley, representing three loving and committed couples who had been denied marriage licenses despite being together, some of the couples for decades. in the clear, cool light of the courtroom -- >> we'll leave this hearing at this point to go live now to the u.s. house. members are returning for
legislative business this afternoon. they'll be working on a bill re-authorizing f.a.a. programs and another renewing trade restrictions on burma. both are expected throughout -- votes are expected throughout the day. now live house coverage here on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. bless the members of this assembly as they set upon the work of these hours of these days.
help them to make wise decisions in a good manner and to carry their responsibility steadily with high hopes for a better future for our great nation. deepen their faith, widen their sympathies, heighten their aspirations, and give them the strength to do what ought to be done for this country. may your blessings, o god, be with them and with us all this day and every day to come and may all we do be done for your greater honor and glory. amen. and pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from indiana, mr. bueshon.
-- mr. bucshon. mr. bucshon: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 questions on each side for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker: without objection, so ordered. mr. bucshon: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor u.s. army specialist james a. waters. specialist waters, a 21-year-old native of cloverdale, indiana, lost his life in combat on july 1 in kandahar, afghanistan, of wounds suffered from an introimprovised explosive device. specialist waters was assigned to the first battalion, 32nd infantry regimen, third brigade in fort drum, new york. indiana lost a great citizen whom was affectionately known
as jimmy. he planned to marry his high school sweetheart in december. his sacrifice and valor should be commended and i would like to offer my most heart-felt condolences to specialist waters' family and friends from a grateful nation, he will be missed but not forgotten. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? mrs. capps: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. capps: mr. speaker, i rise today to applaud the work of the institute of medicine's committee on preventive services for women who released their critical and final report yesterday. the i.o.m.'s recommendations are clear. women need access to annual well woman preventive visits, access for screenings for domestic violence, gestational diabetes and a full range of sexually transmitted diseases.
they need to have access to contraceptives, all without cost sharing. in these hard economic times these recommendations underscore the imperative that women and their families should not have to choose between preventive care and paying their bills. the i.o.m. was bold. it broke through the extreme politics surrounding women's health and instead relies on rigorous science to make a determination. we must follow the i.o.m.'s lead and ensure all women have access to these services no matter where they get their health care or how much they earn. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise? mr. chaffetz: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to "roll call" my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. chaffetz: gang of six? the gang of six. how about that gang of 234 people yesterday, republicans and democrats who passed the plan that doesn't raise taxes and averts the crisis? i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise today in recognition of the extraordinary work of the rhode island council of mental health organizations. representatives from the rhode island mental health organizations are on capitol hill this week advocating for the millions of americans who suffer from mental illness. the council's work is vital because according to the national institute of mental health an estimated 26% of american adults will suffer from dagsable mental disorder in a given year and approximately 6% of americans will suffer from a serious form of mental illness. since 1979 the council has led critical efforts to raise awareness about mental health and emphasize the importance of mental health care funding. the council's efforts to integrate behavioral health with primary care has saved lives, cut costs in our states, sending an example to the
nation. i believe we must make mental health care a full implementation of mental health parity. i commend the rhode island council of community mental health organizations on their work to help and improve mental health care. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise before you to recognize the hard work and dedication of archbishop charles shapoo who served the colorado catholic community for over a decade. he was been assigned to lead the archdiocese of philadelphia. he has defended the innocent and helping the weak that we can all celebrate with pride. mr. gardner: he first came in colorado in 1977. after holding different positions, pope john paul ii, appointed and installed him as archbishop of denver. he worked tirelessly to advance
religious freedom around the globe. his outreach to the hispanic community is second to none. i first met him at the colorado state legislature where he learned -- came to know him as a man of high integrity and deep faith. i admire the archbishop's dedication to all people of faith. i'd like to offer him my most sin share thanks for his work in colorado and wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, republicans want deep spending cuts with no new revenues as the price of raising the debt limit. some republicans have downplayed the impact of defaulting the national debt would have on our economy and our people. mr. doyle: most have downplayed the impact of average americans of the budget cuts they're calling for. this doesn't come as a surprise but what is surprising of how out of touch they are with
mainstream americans. most americans say their biggest concern isn't government spending. it's jobs. but rather than pursue a real job creation agenda, house republicans have passed legislation that would actually slow the economy and kill american jobs. their demand for even bigger spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling is the latest and greatest effort yet to kill middle-class american jobs. they see that we cut government spending deeper and we are going to force us into default which every economist agrees causes a deeper recession and throws hundreds of thousands of middle-class americans out of work. mr. speaker, it's time for house republicans to get a grip and offer an agenda that actually creates jobs. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, 42 years ago today, neal armstrong took one small step on the lunar surface.
it was the culmination of a national initiative to put men on the moon. but although our mission was achieved, it didn't end our yearning to explore. it only deepened and i believe it still exists today. tomorrow, atlantis is scheduled to land in florida, and with the completion of the mission the shuttle program will have come to an end. we now face the uncertainty of where our next steps in space will be. america's legacy is the unright field world leader in space exploration enters a new world of space exploration era. i will work with nasa and with private entities to ensure that the space exploration legacy is maintained and that last year's nasa's re-authorization bill is implemented. mr. palazzo: we continue the space launch mission and vehicle in order to achieve a sured access for crews to the international space station. even in challenging economic times i urge my colleagues to
prioritize human space flight. if it is times like this inspiration is needed more than ever. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? mr. cohen: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. republicans slash and burn politics have not created a single job for americans and republicans have not presented a bill on jobs in this congress. the fact is we need jobs. and we need innovative jobs and the democrats have proposed a jobs plan that emphasizes innovation. we had an opportunity last week to have more investment in solar, lessen fossil fuels. solar green jobs that are innovative create more jobs and protect us in the future so we don't have to spend money on defense to protect those lines that bring us oil from the middle east, yet we didn't do it. we need to invest in education and the democrats have tried to do it but the republicans want to cut pell grants and cut work force investment opportunities. we need to have an educated work force and we need to have
creative ways to job create. jobs is the most important thing here. we have one job the american public wants us to do is that's to prevent a default on our debt and embarrass the united states and recognize the world's economy. that's more important than any pledge, mr. speaker, that anybody's taken. don't default. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pitts: yesterday the house passed the cut, cap and balance plan to raise the debt limit. now we need the senate to act and put their plan on the table. while it was good to hear yesterday that at least six senators have reached an agreement on a plan to control our debt, what we really need is the other chamber to bring a plan to the floor and pass it out of the senate. we have passed the clear plan, one that can be scored by the c.b.o., a plan that calls for a long-term solution to keep congress responsible. the balanced budget amendment. it's clear we need to act on
the debt ceiling soon. our credit rating is certainly at risk. however, we cannot forget that what is truly at risk is the long-term solvency of our nation. if we continue on the current path we will end up being controlled by our creditors, just like greece, portugal and ireland. our very independence is at stake here. by acting responsibly now we avoid greater pain later. kicking the can down on the road is only kicking our nation's future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts rise? ms. tsongas: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. tsongas: our nation will stop paying our bills on august 2 because we refuse to come together and take shared responsibility. these bills paid for bought policies already purchased, such as the wars in afghanistan and iraq, the 2003 prescription drug benefits, tax cuts and emergency measures to save our economy. yesterday, house republicans passed a bill that asked for
sacrifices from seniors, veterans and children but exempted corporations from giving up even their most egregious tax loopholes like those that encourage shipping jobs overseas. that bill also but guarantees a default by requiring a 2/3 vote from both chambers before we can pay our bills. to return to the balanced budgets of the 1990's will require a long-term commitment for the entire country, a commitment that will only come if everyone contributes. we do not need to end social security and medicare as some would do. we can and must reduce the deficit in a balanced way that ensures the well-being of every american. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the northern mariana islands rise? mr. sablan: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, 20 years ago one of the most significant and enduring community groups in the commonwealth of the northern
mariana islands was formed, the northern mariana islands council for the humanities. since its founding, the council has become a well respected community-based organization understanding of an appreciation of the humanities in the northern mariana islands, through its support of educational programs through indigenous cultures and the interests of the people of the commonwealth. the northern mariana islands council has enhanced the lives of our residents as individuals and enhanced the community as a whole. the council's board of directors is and has always been extraordinarily passionate and successful in setting and achieving goals that benefit our diverse and remote community. the council's achievements rely on modest population and resources. please join me in congratulating the northern mariana's council for the humanities on its 20th anniversary of serving the commonwealth of the northern mariana's community. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for
what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas rise? ms. johnson: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. we need bipartisan efforts that focus on fiscal responsibility while maintaining important investments in our communities that will create jobs and grow the economy. . even now i'm trying to be confident that the best interest of american people will prevail. but it is terribly disappointing that ending medicare for seniors is so important to republicans that they continue to pursue this agenda at all costs and willingly put our national economy in peril. mr. speaker, the house of representatives has been under control of the republicans for nearly 200 days. and they have yet to bring a single job creating bill to the floor. this is an issue that should always be above partisan politics. it seems that they would rather
see the united states default on its existing debt for the first time in history, and lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cause interest rates and consumer goods and prices to skyrocket in the process. we must do something about it. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from maryland rise? ms. edwards: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. edwards: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today because i look across my congressional district and across this country where people have lost their homes. they have lost their jobs. they have sacrificed their retirement accounts because our fiscal house hasn't been in order. and here today we sit awaiting the opportunity to do for the american people what we ought to, which is to prevent a default. to prevent a default that would result in further sacrificing of retirement savings and jobs and homes across this country. they are really depending on us.
i rise today, mr. speaker, to say we have an important responsibility to our seniors to protect their medicare and their social security benefits. to make sure that we are creating opportunities for education for their children. to make sure we are creating jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, our roads, bridges, highways, our rail system. and we haven't done our job. so, mr. speaker, i say it's time for us to stop the silliness torques prevent a default, and get on with the nation's business. with that i yield. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? without objection. mr. walz: i rise today to say what my colleagues and i'm sure many americans across the country are saying, stop playing the games and get the work done. i understand we come here with values, ideas, principles that we hold dear, but when the facts dispute our ideology, we don't get the choice to change the facts. you change your ideology. failure to pay our bills will be catastrophic to our economy.
it's that simple. this isn't a question of enabling future deficits. the federal government needs to cover promises it made to our soldiers, veterans, seniors, and creditors. responsible people and countries pay their bills. our 40th president knew this. in a raid a dressed he delivered in 1987, ronald reagan admonished congress for bringing the government to the edge of default and urged them to face responsibility. here's what he said, interest rates will skyrocket, instability will occur in the financial markets, and the federal deficit will sore. let me repeat -- will soar. let me repeat that, the federal deficit will soar. allowing our nation to default no way fixes our budget problems. stop playing the games. get the work done. move the country forward. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new mexico rise? without objection. mr. lujan: there's a lot of important conversations taking place today, but it's important that we talk about what's
happening in new mexico recently. new mexico has been hit by a series of wildfires during this extremely dry fire season. many communities have been threatened by fires as families have lost their homes and livestock and tribal lands have been damaged. at a time when many counties are struggling with the drought, the fire damage to our water sheds, which provides new mexico the majority of its surface water, has impacted drinking water supplies and increased the threat of floods during monsoon season. with the midwest recovering from floods and tornadoes, and the west battling fires and drought, the current resources available to fight these disasters are simply not enough. funds for the natural resource conservation services emergency water shed protection program, which assists with the protection of watersheds that have been impacted by natural disasters, have almost been depleted as a result of disasters around the country. it's vital we provide more resources for this critical program that can strengthen water sheds affected by the combination of fire, damage,
high temperature, and lack of rainfall. i encourage my colleagues to support efforts to address funding shortfalls to the emergency watershed protection program. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? without objection. mr. mcnerney: mr. speaker, i rise today to ask my colleagues to join me m in recognizing the contributions of the warrior watch writers, a troop support group for their commitment to our veterans, families, and community. rain or shine the warriors who watch writers in my district provide a motorcycle escort to our service members and welcome them home as they return back to our community. when win of our service members makes the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, the warriors watch riders recognize their sacrifice, honor their memory, and offer support to their families. i have seen firsthand how the warrior watch riders bring communities together with the
roar of their motorcycles. bonds are built, tears shed, and families, friends, neighbors come together with the warriors watch riders to show respect for the sacrifices those in uniform make to ensure our freedom. i ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing 9 warrior watch riders for all they doll for the men and women who serve our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois rise? without objection. ms. schakowsky: mr. speaker, the republican bill cuts, caps, and balances all right. cuts medicare. caps medicaid. and balances the budget on the back of our seniors, people with disabilities, and the middle class. when willie sutton was asked why do you rob banks? he said that's where the money s asking the elderly and people with disability to shoulder the responsibility for our national debt, really? nearly half of medicare beneficiaries have incomes at or
below 200% of poverty. the median income for our seniors is just over $19,000 a year. the republican proposals will end the medicare guarantee, double out-of-pocket costs for seniors an people with disabilities, and send them an invoice for $6,000. of course we need to address our fiscal challenges, but not by ending medicare in the process. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas rise? ms. jackson lee: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: yesterday our republican friends jumped for joy when they passed the draconian bill that would cut $6 trillion and of course jeopardize a lifeline for millions of americans, and that is social security. we have all been referring to a president that is endeared by this whole country, president reagan, in his letter to senator baker said, the nation can ill afford to allow such a result. the risk, cause, the disruptions, and the damage lead
me to but one conclusion, the senate must vote to raise the debt ceiling in 1983, when the country was much smaller. but what do we face here? frivolous activity like republican freshmen who are in their manner of efforts show the disrespect for the office of the presidency. one member said, i have a challenge for the president. i dare him. i double dare him to even think about cutting social security. well, you just cut social security as a republican freshman, and i would ask you to respect the office of the presidency. why don't we engage in negotiation, work together as a nation, as the american people want. i'd like a little more respect from my colleagues for the president of the united states. president barack obama. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? without objection. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker. last night we voted once again
in the house of representatives to cut medicare. to cut social security. and to reward the wealthiest 2% of our nation with tax cuts and of course big business with tax cuts. the republican majority wasted a crucial day of debate instead of protecting and working on the financial security for our nation. we could have debated a strong jobs agenda like the make it in america agenda the democrats have. we could have discussed how we can strengthen partnerships with businesses to retain america's workers for the jobs that are actually needed here. but what did they do as one former republican budget advisor called it? they debated something that was, and i quote, a misleading political cheap shot. the republicans cut, cap, and balance act is harmful for this country, and it's not a serious proposal. it's not going to be signed into law. they wasted our time. so i am glad that that bill is
dead on arrival in the senate, but i really wish, i really wish they would get down to working for america. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. speaker. by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 357 and ask for immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 54, house resolution 357, resolved, that upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 2553, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the airport and airway trust fund. to amend title 49 united states code to extend the airport improvement program, and for other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are
waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill to final passage without intervening motion except one. one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on transportation and infrastructure. and two, one motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one hour. mr. webster: mr. speaker, for the purpose of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to my good friend, mr. hastings from florida, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. webster: during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. webster: mr. speaker, i rise today to support this rule and the underlying bill. house resolution 357 provides for a closed rule for consideration of h.r. 2553, airport and airway extension act of 2011, part four.
so far in the 112th congress, three short-term extensions have been signed into law to allow for the continued aviation trust fund revenue collections and aviation program authority necessary to operate america's airports. the latest short-term extension expires this friday, the 22nd. h.r. 2553 would extend the program for a little less than two months, to september 16. the bill maintains current funding levels for f.f.a., it's employees, and airports around the country. the bill also includes two simple central air service reform provisions. one of which has already passed the senate by unanimous consent. both the house and senate have passed separate versions of multiyear re-authorization bills. so this short-term extension will hopefully give the house and senate the time needed to work out the differences between the two bills so that we can stop just kicking the can down
the road. to say that that's exactly what we are doing. for starters 21 extensions of the f.a.a. program since the last re-authorization. we have been at this exact juncture 20 other times. the last re-authorization was over 7 1/2 years ago. that's a long time since september 30, 2007, the f.a.a. has been operating on a series of short-term stopgap extensions. quite simply, it's just time to stop doing this. it's too much. safety of our airline passengers and we ought to take that into consideration and pass the necessary meaningful long-term f.a.a. re-authorization. once again, mr. speaker, i rise in support of this rule and the underlying legislation, the transportation and infrastructure committee has worked to provide us yet another short-term extngs which will ensure the continued safety of our airline passengers with the hope the senate and the house can finally come to the table
and realize a long-term re-authorization. i encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the rule and underlying bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank my good friend from florida for yielding the time. mr. speaker, the airport and airway extension act of 2011, part four, extends aviation trust fund revenue collection and aviation program authority at current funding levels through september 16 of this year. while also imposing new restrictions on the essential air service program. frankly it's no substitute for a long-term federal aviation administration authorization. and casts further doubt on airport construction and safety
improvements instead of ensuring air passenger safety, creating jobs, or investing in air traffic control modernization. as i'm sure most americans would agree, the word uncertain does not belong in a conversation about our nation's aviation system. and it certainly does not belong in the same sentence as air passenger safety. . i know a person in the congress who is a pilot that agrees with that statement. over the course of four years, however, great uncertainty surrounding long-term funding for the f.a.a. has threatened and continues to threaten both. without steady funding. -- without steady funding, the f.a.a. cannot fund the future
of our safety. the next generation air transportation system that we know as nextgen. make no mistake, the united states has the safest, most efficient aviation system in the world. we can all thank our highly skilled, dedicated aviation professionals for that, but in order to ensure that it remains that day, we must stop kicking the f.a.a. can -- f.a.a. re-authorization can down the road. i know these cans are tired of being kicked down the road. the measure before us is the 21st short-term f.a.a. extension to be considered since the last f.a.a. authorization bill vision 100
expired at the end of september, 2007. i repeat, this is the 21st short-term f.a.a. extension we have considered in less than four years. it's also the sixth extension of operation authority for fiscal year 2011. meanwhile, there's been no progress for weeks on a long-term authorization. while short-term extensions have their place in the legislative process, they should be the exception, not the rule, especially when authorizing the important safety and modernization activities of the f.a.a. the extension not only fails to address the long-term aviation needs of our nation but also denies many of our small and rural communities the air service and economic opportunities made possible by
the essential air service program. by including these policy riders, house republicans risk a shutdown of our aviation system, and senator rockefeller, after our rules committee meeting last night, made that very clear in a letter from him to chairman mica. instead of appointing conferees, as the senate did 100 days ago, house republicans seem to be pointing fingers and effectively forcing a vote on the future of the f.a.a. program ahead of conference legislation. while house republicans continue to play the blame game with the senate, american businesses and workers are losing out on much-needed economic opportunities. aviation, as we all know, is an economic engine for the united
states. contributing $1.3 trillion to our economy. accounting for more than 11 1/2 million jobs and $396 billion in earnings and contributing 5.6% to our nation's gross domestic product. without full funding for the f.a.a., local officials are unable to move forward with project proposals. because of this the f.a.a. is an estimated $800 million to $1 billion in obligated funding which translates to tens of thousands of jobs. furthermore, if the f.a.a. is unable to utilize these funds before the end of the fiscal year, they risk being reprogrammed or rescinded. this, in my view, is
irresponsible, dangerous and unacceptable. the f.a.a. will have to do more with less which reduces the ability to help airports finance safety improvements such as runway overshoot areas, runway resurfaces, proper sinage and lighting and equipment to prevent snow and ice buildup on runways. these measures not only save lives but increase efficiency at a time when air traffic is projected to continue growing significantly. according to the f.a.a., the number of passengers on u.s. airlines is forecasted to increase by about 75% within the next 20 years and to reach one billion passengers annually within the next decade.
we must invest more in our aviation system, not less. long-term f.a.a. authorization should be an immediate priority. in the 110th and 111th congresses, the house on the democratic leadership passed f.a.a. re-authorization bills that would have created jobs, improved aviation safety and provided the f.a.a. with the tools necessary to modernize airport and air traffic control infrastructure. my friends on the other side should do the responsible thing and appoint conferees so that the house and senate can work out their differences and finalize a long-term f.a.a. re-authorization bill. unfortunately, my friends on the other side of the aisle are clearly preoccupied with
further isolating small and rural communities than moving this debate forward. in fact, the house transportation and infrastructure committee has held no hearings specifically on the e.a.s. program this year, nor did they hold markup on the measure before us. the senate is not going to pass this, and i want to -- won't place a letter into the record but senator rockefeller makes clear as chair of the relevant committee in the senate that this is not going to pass in the -- its form with the policy riders attached. yet, without the ability to offer amendments on the floor, as i requested in the rules committee last night, to consider a kleenex tension, one free of the policy -- consider a clean extension, one free of the policy riders, we face a
shutdown, i believe my good friend from florida, mr. webster, said on friday, this short-term extension would expire and then our aviation system stands to shut down. that would be most unfortunate. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. webster: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for five minutes. mr. petri: i thank my friend for yielding and i'd like to thank my colleagues on the rules committee for so expeditiously bringing up this rule for consideration this afternoon of the -- i think the 24th extension of a temporary extension of the re-authorization of the f.a.a. legislation. you know, this re-authorization's been held
hostage for several years, and it is not cost-free. it's interfering with the efficiency of operations, the ability to plan and expend funds on needed airport improvements across the country. we are paying the price for this sort of thing. i don't think we should be allowing people to assert that they have the right unilaterally to hold up the whole process. it's their way or the highway. especially when what we're doing in this particular mild change to reform a needed part of this legislation, essentially share service, which is badly needed -- air service, which is badly needed perform, is something that's already in the bill. by agreeing to the bill that's in this respect that's passed
the other house, this is non negotiable and we can be so bold as to simply say, fine, we'll agree to the language which you have which basically provides that if an airport is within 90 miles of a major airport it's not eligible for essential air service. the other provides that the cap on subsidy from the federal government would be $1,000 per passenger. what are we talking about? you can drive 90 miles -- you can rent a car for a lot less than $1,000. most people frankly prefer not to go through a couple changes, commuter airline, hub, to
another destination if you're able to avoid an hour or 45 minutes, hour and a half air travel is perfectly certainly reasonable, especially if you consider in addition if it's essential that the secretary of transportation will waive this legislation. people already assuming that somehow some terrible thing will happen when the authority already exists in the executive branch to prevent that from happening. so to further hold the whole system hostage over a small effort to reform, what really has been i think over a period of years an accumulation of earmarks, people have the ability to provide for a subsidy of an airport in their district and this area or that area because they were in leadership on the committee or in the congress and we've seen this pile up and pile up and really about time it gets addressed and asking people to
find a way to get to an airport if it's less than 90 miles that they have to find an alternative transportation rather than having the federal government subsidize it in the few airports around the country seems to be something that is badly in need of doing. it saves money for the taxpayer, not a whole lot but i think the estimates are between $8 million and $9 million a year. i guess around here it doesn't amount to a whole lot but in most communities and familiar years in areas that's a lot of money. of course, we have to remember the federal government isn't the only government concerned. if people really do want to sdice service because of some local -- subsidize service because of some local need, the community or the state or the county involved is certainly perfectly free to do that. so why we should be picking a
couple dozen communities around the entire united states and subsidizing to the extent of over $1,000 per passenger to provide the some of almost air limousine service for a few individuals in these communities is beyond me. and yet this is nonnegotiable. we have to -- we can't concede to the language already in the senate bill and we're going to have to shut down the whole system except for a essential air service because of trying to do this modest reform, after 23 extensions or 24 extensions we've really come to a pretty arbitrary and unreasonable place in this house. so i'd urge my colleagues to support the rule and the underlying legislation, and i thank you for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from texas, my good friend, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the
gentleman and i want to associate myself with his very detailed and well-stated opening statement on this legislation. i think the premise should be that all of us agree and the importance of the f.a.a., i have served as the chairwoman of the transportation security administration committee under the department of homeland security on the homeland security committee. now serve as its ranking member. through that time frame i have seen the overlapping need to view particularly f.a.a.'s work and particularly air traffic control work as part of both the safety and security of this nation. i remind my colleagues of the activist role that air traffic controllers in particular took during 9/11. during the massiveness of confusion and loss of the destination or the placing of three of our major airlines and
planes that were flying in airplanes, the air traffic controller was really a team that was on the first response, if you will. so their work is enormously important. and my colleague mentioned some numbers that i think are extremely important to $1.3 trillion is what we find is the revenue in the airline industry. 11 1/2 million jobs. 75% increase in employees within 20 years and $1 billion in the next decade. i want to say that this means that we have a great obligation to protect the american traveling public. . i want to aotherate myself with the idea of not protecting the small airports and disadvantaging those airports by this legislation, and again i assume chairman rockefeller's comments play to that as well. but i had offered an amendment that was sent to the senate to
establish a mandate that the top 20 united states airports, there should be no fewer than three air traffic controllers on duty during periods of airfield operations. i firmly believe this provision will ensure that air traffic control towers at high-volume airports in this country will be appropriately staffed at all times. mr. speaker, we engage with the conference committee very diligently. we have all heard the recent stories of air traffic controllers falling asleep or being locked out of the control tower for whatever reason -- or for whatever reason can't be there. i know air traffic controllers reflect the diversity of america and the various ills and concerns. we also know they have long concentrated hours. it's a difficult job. just recently there was a question of whether or not an air traffic controller was drunk on the job, or drank on the job. he or she. if that was the case and there was one air traffic controller
there, there's zero if that was the case and there were two, then there was one -- mr. hastings: i yield an additional minute. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. i submit by simply having a codified policy that at the busiest and most critical airports we mandate there be personnel redundancy in control towers, we can make the aviation system much safer and more secure. the american passenger has value. those dear souls who lost their lives on 9/11 were not exposed to this concept of terrorism had value. the american passenger's entitled to safety and security. think about the people on planes flying across our country. they are our grandmothers, husbands, wives. businesspersons, associates, colleagues. they are american passengers and their lives have value. to ensure their safety and security i believe we need more than what is presently moving in this bill that has not come to the floor. i believe we should move on with the conferees to be appointed. because as i said i sent my
language to the initial negotiations. we need to move on so there is an opportunity for us to work this idea. but this is more than a study. we don't need another study. we have already seen the mishaps. 9/11 discovered the value and importance of these particular workers. and we now have discovered the problem. i ask my colleagues to raise the question and to question this rule and this bill, this extension because we are putting our american passengers in jeopardy. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. webster: reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i'm very pleased at this time to yield to my very good friend from new jersey, four minutes to mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for four minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. andrews: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend for yielding. as we meet this afternoon and consider this very necessary legislation, too many americans
are looking at yet another friday without a paycheck. too many americans are leery when they hear the phone ring for the fear it's another phone call from a creditor they can't pay. too many americans are stuck for yet another week in a part-time job that doesn't come anywhere close to paying their family's bills. the country has a jobs crisis. we have the same number of private sector jobs in america that we had in 2001. today. and we have 14% more people looking for work. we have a jobs crisis. this is the 196th day of the majority that now runs the house of representatives. and on not one of those days has the majority taken advantage of the opportunity to come to the floor, work together on legislation that would address this jobs crisis here in our
country. i believe that resolving this crisis requires us to work together in three areas. first, we have to get our fiscal house in order as a government. we can no longer borrow 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. and we certainly cannot let this country fail to meet its obligation to pay its bills, a deadline that is on august 2. failure to do that would mean more than simply failing our country's national obligations. it would mean higher mortgage rates. it would mean higher car loan rates. higher small business rates. and if we missed the deadline, it would mean not enough money to pay social security checks or our troops, or our creditors. we cannot let that happen. just across this capital there are signs of hope. where members of the other body from both political parties have begun to have a serious proposal
put on the table that would significantly address our budget problem by reducing entitlement spending, which we must do. by reducing spending on regular government programs, which we must do. by reducing defending -- spending on defense in areas that would not weaken our country, which we must do, and, yes, by requiring the very wealthiest and most successful of americans to pay a bit more towards solving this problem. that is a fair and balanced way to approach this problem. i'm heartened by the fact that across the capitol both republicans and democrats are beginning to make that effort. we should make the same effort here. something we could agree to. second, we've got to stimulate demand for businesses in this country. i think the main reason why so many employers are not hiring is they legitimately fear there won't be enough customers to buy
their appliances or their antibiotics or software. that there isn't enough demand in our economy. one of the reasons we don't have that demand is we send $1 billion a day to middle eastern countries who sell us oil. why don't we keep that $1 billion here in the united states of america and put it to work putting americans to work? whether it's building windmill farms off the coast. or solar farms throughout our rural areas. or exploring regular conventional sources of energy in a safe and environmentally conscious way, let's do that. why aren't we investing to give ourselves a continued lead in the biotechnology industry? as scientists are figuring out ways to grow new tissue that heals hearts, livers, and kidneys, why aren't we working to retain our leadership
position in the world -- i would ask for another minute. mr. hastings: i yield an additional minute. mr. andrews: in order to create jobs here in our country. these are ways that we could and should work together. why aren't we doing far more than we are doing this afternoon on this airport bill? airport investment puts americans to work and good air travel makes growth possible, but look at what we are doing. a temporary scanty extension of our investment in our air traffic system because we can't get our fiscal house in order to agree to the kind of extension that we need. 196 days of missed opportunity. let's not make tomorrow the 197th day of missed opportunity. let's come together, work together as republicans and democrats, and create an environment where entrepreneurs can begin to create the jobs that we so desperately need here in our country. yes, we have a deficit in
america. it is a very serious deficit. but the most serious deficit we have is a jobs deficit. and until we can find a way to put 15 million unemployed americans back to work, our deficits will continue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. webster: i would just say i want to remind the people that might be watching this we are talking about a house resolution 357 which is a rule that would allow us to re-authorize an extension of the airport and airway extension act. that's our discussion, that's what we are talking about. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i ask my good friend from florida whether he has any other speakers. i'm prepared to close. mr. webster: i'm ready to close. mr. hastings: i'm prepared to close. in so doing, mr. speaker, having now fully read senator rockefeller's letter, i do ask
that unanimous consent that senator rockefeller's letter to chairman mica dated july 19 be made a part of the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: thank you. i will read only four sentences from it. he says to chairman mica, i strongly urge you to reconsider your position and send over a clean f.a.a. extension and appoint conferees for the f.a.a. re-authorization bill as the senate did on april 7, 2011. to move this important legislation forward. further, efforts to add policy components to f.a.a. extensions that have been negotiated with the senate will likely shut the f.a.a. down. as transportation secretary lahood and f.a.a. administrator babbitt have said, the united states faces a pivotal time in
aviation history. in order to ensure the safety of the flying public, and bring our air transportation system into the 21st century, the f.a.a. needs a long-term re-authorization bill. while h.r. 2553 buys us a little more time, we cannot afford to continue ignoring the underlying problem. mr. speaker, i try very much to not to be as parochial as i can be on many instances. but in west palm beach we are building a new airport tower and we need the next again -- nexgen facilities. at the fort lauderdale airport, that is my hometown airport, we all are expanding the runway. and it becomes increasingly difficult to complete the projects when money for doing so
comes in increments rather than in a block that will allow that they go forward in a meaningful way. toward that end failure to enact a multiyear f.a.a. re-authorization is just going to result in delays to much needed infrastructure improvements, including, as i have mentioned, the ground base and nexgen technologies, and ultimately cost our nation more in the long run with regard to passenger safety, jobs, and the environment. enough is enough. we need a clean extension now in order to pass a long-term authorization as soon as possible. and i urge my colleagues to vote no on the rule and the underlying bill. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. webster: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to address one
thing about the change that's in this particular re-authorization, essential air service, which has basically become the government funded corporate jet program. and we have tried to reduce that. so if you are a businessman, you live in a rural community, if you are willing to drive an hour half to get to a hub, you are willing to have the government fund your airplane for you. it's basically corporate member, somebody that has a business there, they get on a jet to the tune of up to $3,720. we subsidize that. it's like a subsidized corporate jet. it's a sad thing. we want to reduce that. we'd like to get it and do away it. we would like to do away with it altogether t would redouse that to $1,000 instead of having to drive an hour and a half to an airport. it's a sad thing. another sad thing is we are here. i am sad about the fact that we are standing here on the floor
once again to vote for another extension. i wish it had worked out. i wish we could get together and i hope that happens in the next few weeks if we approve this. this extension is necessary to ensure continued safety on all who fly. be it for business or pleasure or any other reason in the american skies. i ask my colleagues to join today in voting in favor of this rule and passage of the underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time. and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate on the resolution has expired. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from florida. mr. webster: i'd like to request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce toe